Friday, 16 March 2012

Seeing Red

The Red Fishing Boat - 11" x 14" - Watercolour

I have had several different jobs to support my painting one of which was as a firefighter when I lived in Dorset. One day we were called out to a house fire. The owners were out shopping The fire had started when the washing machine in the basement overheated. Access to the basement was at the back of the house. To get to the fire we had to drag our hoses over the immaculate flower bed at the side of the house. The flowers which were in full bloom and obviously well cared for were flattened. The owners returned while we were getting the fire under control, at first they didn't realise that it was their house on fire and they were unhappy that we had damaged their flowers.
“What the f**k have you done to our f***ing flowers?” the husband said.
The young Firefighter in charge of the pump was a good fireman but known for his short temper.
“See this red thing . . .” he said, “. . . it's a f***ing fire engine.
See that red glow . . . it's your f***ing house on fire.
See that hose . . . it's how we get the f***ing water from the f***ing fire engine to put out the f***ing fire.”

I find that a small amount of red goes a long way.

This is one of four paintings for which I won the 2012 Winsor & Newton/RI Award all of which are in the 200th exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours at the Mall Galleries, London. The exhibition opens Wednesday 14 March 2012 and runs until Sunday 25 March 2012.

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